Annual Future Festival poem: Construction Anthem

Categories:Events, Ideas, Inspiration, People
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Future Festival 2019 poem

For many years running, local poet Elisabeth Wenger has written a special poem for the occasion of Huss Future Festival and this year was thankfully no different. She has a beautiful way of capturing the spirit of a moment and connecting it with larger movements at work. We’re so grateful that we’ve officially named her the Huss Project Poet Laureate! Here is this year’s poem:


Construction Anthem

Let’s get down to brass tacks,
let’s get down to bones,
let’s peel up the floors babe,
let’s look under stones.

To the deep down, I mean,
to the origin, the frame,
to the minds behind the frame,
and their thoughts,
and from whence those thoughts came.

The walls that hold the roof up,
who built it? And how?
With what tools in their hands,
and what love in their brains?

Because this house we live in
stinks of hate,
the blueprints indicate
a fundamental fear,
distrust and apathy
picked up a hammer and a flag,
got going, pitched in.

Well, the plaster’s peeling off, boys,
the rotten frames are showing,
the roof’s collapsing, caving in,
The mold is creeping, growing,

So let’s bust up these walls!
Tear down the frames that frame us,
the molds that hold us in
to our grandfather’s—
and their grandfather’s—
and their grandfather’s sins!

Let’s build new, let’s make new walls,
let’s put windows and let the sun shine in!
Let’s sprinkle our future with the dust of construction,
remaking what’s good of the old,
as we tear down a barn and use
the beaten old boards
to build a new place,
new walls for laughter,
and art, and space.

Let’s look to those stones,
the ones we walk over,
the bones of the land we stole from another;
there is no room for hate in a stone,
just in the fist that holds it.

So let’s strip off the wallpaper,
and bust up the walls,
let’s get down to the framing, the concrete,
the cornerstone,

to what’s under the under
of the rocks by the river,
to under the river,
to the glacier-scrubbed land,
to the tectonic rocking
of the mother who loves us,
to the source, the foundation
to the thoughts before the thoughts
before the fear can creep in.

And let’s build on that,
let’s begin,
let’s begin.